THE cost of living has increased by 2.2pc in the last year, official figures revealed today.
Inflation jumped by 1pc in March alone.
Higher fuel costs pushed up transport prices and, as high street sales were finally wound up, clothing and footwear costs also rose.
Over the course of the year, the consumer price index also recorded significant increases in education, up 9.4pc transport, 7.6pc, and alcohol and tobacco up almost 4pc.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) noted that the past 12 months has also seen increases in the cost of electricity, gas, home heating oil and private rents.
Services were hit by the soaring cost of health insurance - with costs in the healthcare sector overall up more than 4pc in the last year.
The CSO said the annual rate of inflation for services was 3.3pc in the year to March, while goods increased by 1pc.